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Tuesday, 28 August 1973
Page: 434

Mr HUNT (Gwydir) - I support the Bill. As the Minister for Education (Mr Beazley) has said, when Mr Nigel Bowen was Minister for Education and Science in October 1970, while speaking on a "Bill to amend the Australian National University Act he forecast that he would subsequently introduce an amendment to the Act to enable the control of traffic within the Australian National University. It is to the credit of the present Minister that he has brought this Bill forward so early in the session to provide the necessary powers to the Council of the Australian National University. The Bill gives powers to the University to makes statutes for the regulation of traffic and parking on the University site. More significantly it gives the University specific powers to appoint its own traffic officers to regulate access to the University roads. As the honourable member for Diamond Valley has so rightly said, it is essential to try to preserve the orderly environment of the ANU and to protect it from undue encroachment of traffic on the campus itself. This Bill empowers the University to set up parking meters, to make charges for parking, to tow away vehicles, to prescribe fines for traffic offences that are proved in a court. In cases of parking or stopping offences the Bill also empowers the University to fix a small penalty which offenders may choose to accept rather than undergo prosecution. I think this is a most desirable feature of the legislation. The provisions of a University statute will also apply to members of the public who are not connected with the ANU unless the statute provides otherwise.

There is a restriction on the statute-making power proposed for the University and that is that its statutes will not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Australian Capital Motor Traffic Ordinance. This, of course, is consistent with the provisions which are already in force under the Canberra College of Advanced Education Act. Another important feature of the Bill is that it will, as I said earlier, secure the campus from overencroachment by traffic and thereby ensure reasonable traffic behaviour within the University grounds. As the Minister has rightly pointed out, he has responded to the wishes of the University Council to have power to control traffic adequately, to help with the orderly development of the campus and also to have day-to-day control of activities on the campus. The Bill ensures that traffic control statutes will be drafted in consultation with the Department of the Capital Territory. That is a most essential provision because it would be quite an intolerable situation to have the ANU Council prescribing laws that were not consistent with the traffic code and traffic laws that operate within the city of Canberra itself. So naturally there has to be that degree of consistency even if it is only to avoid confusion that could occur if there were 2 different sets of authorities making laws at their own whim or will.

The ANU Council will carry out its functions under this legislation from time to time. The actual drafting of the traffic laws will be undertaken by administrative arrangements and therefore no further legislative provision will be required. This is my understanding of the Minister's second reading speech. I suppose that the provisions that are made from time to time will be made in a similar fashion to the way in which the present Australian Capital Territory Motor Traffic Ordinance is handled. I conclude by saying that I commend the Minister for having brought this Bill into the House so quickly. I am sure that it will be very welcome by those connected with the ANU itself. I am sure that the University Council will be pleased that the Minister has introduced this measure to relieve the Council of some of the difficulties which it is experiencing at the present time.

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